Chapter 7

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"What sort of an answer is that?" she chided him.

"We see each other often enough."

The Princess considered her brother's response. "She is the daughter of a powerful Duke and a member of the Ministry. Her marriage to you would be shrewd, securing a vital alliance. But the real question, I suspect, is do you love her?"

"I… like her. Fhyndhella is quite beautiful and I enjoy her company but, something is missing." He thought about it, trying to find the words. "She lacks a passion, a fire within her."

Ellycyn's eyes, slightly more green than her brother's, played mischievously. "Namely, you enjoy a good fight."

"I suppose I do," the Prince replied laughingly. But then he seemed to hear the truth behind his own lighthearted response.

The Princess turned serious. "Have you been with her yet?"

"No. Almost on a couple of occasions, but we thought better of it. Neither of us can afford scandal. When the need arises, I usually visit Jhyrenne." Jhyrenne was one of Ellycyn's attendants. Though she was of peasant stock and more than a little promiscuous, she was the favorite of both Prince and Princess, for different reasons. After a few fond, reminiscent thoughts, Rhenycyn returned the favor. "What of you and the noble Sir Mharkhel?"

The Princess turned away, blushing. "Please. We are only friends."

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